Volkswagen took us by surprise last week when it unveiled the Golf R 333 in Germany with an astronomical price tag of €76,410 (approx. £66,000). The asking price was a bit of a shocker when you take into consideration the 20 Years Edition – essentially the same car launched in 2022 – was available for €59,995. Despite being by far the most expensive Golf ever, the limited-run special edition was sold out in just eight minutes.

The disclosure was made on LinkedIn by Stefan Voswinkel, Head of Product Communications at VW. Paying that kind of money for a Golf goes to show make/model loyalty trumps just about everything else as people tend to no longer compare technical specifications. For that kind of money, a customer from Germany could've bought an Audi RS3 in Sportback guise. There are 158 new cars listed on Audi's website and the cheapest retails for €66,111, thus making it about €10,000 more affordable than the Golf R 333. Alternatively, a Porsche 718 Cayman S can be had for just about the same money as the VW.

Volkswagen Golf R 333 Limited Edition

A Germany-only version, the special hot hatch has its turbocharged 2.0-litre engine dialled to 328 bhp (245 kilowatts) and 309 pound-feet (420 Newton-metres) of torque. Since we mentioned the RS3, legend has it VW wanted to use Audi's inline-five for an ultimate Golf R but the folks from Wolfsburg were turned down by the Four Rings. A few years ago, VW toyed around with the idea of an R400 (or even an R420) but then Dieselgate happened and the project was aborted.

With increasingly stringent emissions regulations, we wouldn't hold our breath for a more powerful Golf R, at least not in the European Union. The R 333 was sold exclusively in Germany as a follow-up to the 2022 Golf R 20 Years Edition. VW offered it strictly as a five-door hatchback but you can get the regular Golf R as an estate as well in the EU and a few other markets.